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Real Estate Crowdfunding to Take Center Stage at Crowd Invest Summit in Los Angeles

3 May

Real Estate Crowdfunding to be Major Focus at Country’s Largest Crowd Investment Conference

By Robert Hoskins

Los Angeles, CaliforniaCrowd Invest Summit, the country’s largest crowdfunding investment conference, taking place on September 6th and 7th at the Los Angeles Convention Center, has announced that it will be expanding its focus on Real Estate Crowdfunding.

Since the signing of the JOBS Act in 2012, Real Estate Investing has been the fastest growing segment of the new Crowdfunding Industry. According to CBRE, the real estate has more than a $1.7 trillion dollars worth of dry power ready to be invested in residential and commercial real estate deals.

“We expect over 3,000 attendees at Crowd Invest Summit this September, a significant portion being investors who are looking to learn about new opportunities,” said Alon Goren, co-founder of Crowd Invest Summit. “Real Estate investing has been a major focus at the summit, and because of overwhelming demand, this September we’re expanding on the topic.”

Crowd Invest Summit will feature the crowd investment industry’s top leaders, investors and firms covering real estate investing over the span of two days in September:

“As one of California’s preeminent real estate and business law firms, we are excited to partner with Crowd Invest Summit for its first-ever discussion on the emerging issues and opportunities presented by the ever-growing real estate crowdfunding market,” said Chuck Jarrell, Partner, Allen Matkins. “Crowdfunding has become an integral part of real estate investing and a topic that will resonate well with conference attendees.”

“We are excited to be back at Crowd Invest Summit this September to discuss how we’ve quadrupled our investor base by combining technology and marketing with an institutional approach to real estate investing,” said Michael Episcope, Principal, Origin Investments.

“Commercial real estate is no longer reserved for the wealthy. Now, everyone has the ability to passively invest in multi-million dollar properties, all thanks to crowdfunding,” said Matt Schuberg, CEO, RealCap. “We are very excited to come back to Crowd Invest Summit in September to bring these types of opportunities to the masses.”

“401(k) and IRA accounts provide access to 12 times more investment dollars than checking and savings accounts,” said Todd Yancey, CSO of IRA Services. “We are excited to explain the process to real estate investors at Crowd Invest Summit how to easily access that capital.”

“Now more than ever real estate companies should focus on the fundamentals and principles in mitigating risks to investors capital. Crowd Invest Summit offers both Real Estate Companies and potential investors to engage first hand and learn more about the risks and rewards of investing in Commercial Real Estate,” said Rayaan Arif, CEO, FundingTree.

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Titan Note Earns more than $500k with Four Days to Go via Perks-Based Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign

31 Mar

Titan Note’s innovative technology promises to make pen and paper a thing of the past for taking notes in school and office environments

 By Robert Hoskins

Malmo, Sweden – Titan Note, the pocket-sized transcription device, has passed their most recent stretch goal of $500,000. Titan Note is a groundbreaking device that will forever change the way someone take notes. Since the beginning of time, people have taken notes by hand. Titan Note paves the way for the future and it is giant leap forward in a field that has not seen much progress. Titan Note uses cutting edge speech recognition that records audio by multiple microphones. It is equipped with advanced voice biometrics to identify who is speaking. It’s sleek and simple design is portable, water resistant, and now comes in a variety of colors.

Titan Note allows students around the world can now spend their time focusing in class, rather than taking notes that cause distraction

Titan Note allows students around the world can now spend their time focusing in class, rather than taking notes that cause distraction

“Titan Note is a device that millions of people will benefit from. Students around the world can now spend their time focusing in class, rather than taking notes that cause distraction,” Titan Note CEO Erik Jansson said. “We’re very proud to announce new features for Titan Note and continue to perfect the device.”

Titan Note transcribes in real-time, so there is minimal delay between recording and transcription. Titan Note’s application allows users to edit and add information as the transcription is rolling in. The word error rate for Titan Note is roughly the same as human transcription, so there is little need to go into the Titan Note application and edit. Titan Note can decipher between multiple speakers in a large lecture hall or office and is effective up to 70 feet. Titan Note is equipped with noise-canceling microphones combined with noise-canceling algorithms to filter out background noise and improve the accuracy.

On Indiegogo, Titan Note began with a goal of $35,000, which was quickly surpassed over only a couple of days. After fully funding, Titan Note announced a new goal of $150,000 then they were onto another goal of $250,000, which was rapidly reached. After that exciting jump, Titan Note was onto their next goal of $500,000. By reaching this stretch goal, the campaign has unlocked two new colors, genius green and success yellow.

Titan Note’s technology has incorporated extra features to make note-taking more fun. Titan Note is also endowed with a Bluetooth speaker that is able to play music through the Titan Note Application. The application will be available for free on Android and iOS. In addition, the device doubles as a power bank for any USB compatible charger. To ensure Titan Note is never left behind, it is equipped with an anti-lost system that will alert the user via the Titan Note app.

Titan Note created their first hardware prototype almost a year ago and are working hard to add more languages into the device’s translation capabilities. The team at Titan Note is thrilled to announce their new stretch goal of $1,000,000. They will be updating the device with new features and colors and will be introducing Savvy Silver and Focus Blue as two new color options. Two new features will include being able to upload old recordings to the app for transcription and getting timestamps to see how long each person has been talking.

Titan Note is currently being sold for $80 on Indiegogo. To learn more about Titan Note or to pre-order, visit bit.ly/TitanNoteIGG.

When Titan Note CEO, Erik Jansson, was in college and university, many complained that it was hard to listen and take notes at the same time. It was then he realized that there had to be a better way. It was then he got to work developing a more advanced and accurate method of taking notes. Jansson has a goal to save people time, headache and missed information with the introduction of Titan Note.

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Robert Hoskins, a seasoned Front Page PR veteran provides more than twenty-eight years of external communications, media relations, digital social media and SEO skills to Front Page PR’s crowdfunding PR and media relations service portfolio.
Robert Hoskins
(512) 627-6622
@Crowdfunding_PR


Mr. Robert Hoskins is a seasoned marketing veteran with a proven track record of helping entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses as well as Fortune 500 corporations launch successful marketing communications campaigns to gain market traction for a wide variety of products and services.
On a regular basis, Mr. Hoskins consults with crowdfunding campaign managers as well as crowdfunding sites, portals and platforms to deliver successful crowdfunding marketing campaigns.
Google search “Robert Hoskins Crowdfunding” to see why Mr. Hoskins is considered one of the industry’s foremost crowdfunding experts that has amassed a huge social media following, which is dedicated to supporting donation, rewards and equity crowdfunding campaigns.

What New Title III Investors Should Be Trying to Learn Before Making Their First Crowdfunding Investment

4 May

Whether You Are One of the 188 Million New Non-Accredited Investors or a Small Startup or Existing Business that Wants to Learn More about Issuing a Title III or Title IV Reg. A+ Equity Crowdfunding Campaign You Should Read through All of the Information Below

By Robert Hoskins

Austin, Texas (May 2, 2016) – The best way to educate yourself on the Title III investment/investing marketplace is to perform a thorough competitive analysis on all of the Top Equity Crowdfunding Sites and/or the Top Reg. A+ Equity Crowdfunding Sites in the United States, the United Kingdom and Israel, which is where most of the top crowdfunding platforms are based.

A Crowdfunding Guide to Risks, Returns, Regulations, Funding Portals, Due Diligence, and Deal Terms

A Crowdfunding Guide to Risks, Returns, Regulations, Funding Portals, Due Diligence, and Deal Terms

Our Top 100 Crowdfunding Lists are based on website traffic, which should be a first step in determining how many eyes are being delivered by every site.  This will highlight how many crowdfunding campaigns are being launched as well as how many investors are visiting the equity crowdfunding site on a monthly basis.

There has been a great deal of content generated that covers that the Title III Equity Crowdfunding rules that will begin on May 16, 2016 so I will skip repeating the basic information. Up until the past 12-months not much has been written about how to evaluate the up an coming Title III equity crowdfunding deals.

So the purpose of this article is provide lots or relevant documentation that has been written by leading university legal departments and law firms that will soon be guiding investors and issuers through the process of issuing Title III and Title IV Reg. A+ equity crowdfunding securities.

Great Equity Crowdfunding Research Articles:

1. The Coming ‘Transformation’ in Private Capital Markets – This article provides a really good overview of the equity crowdfunding industry to date.


2. Duke Law School – The Social Network and the Crowdfund Act: Zuckerberg, Saverin, and Venture Capitalists’ Dilution of the Crowd – This provides really good a good overview of how to avoid stock holder dilution and making sure that early stockholders are included fair and justly in every exit strategy. It also provides examples of how Zuckerberg diluted one of his business partners right out of the Facebook fortune.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

    1. CROWDFUNDING OVERVIEW
      A. The Five Models of Crowdfunding
      B. Examples of Crowdfunding
      C. The Transformative Power of Crowdfunding
    2. POLITICAL INFLUENCES
      A. Securities-Law Prohibitions on Crowdfunding
      B. Democratic Push for Crowdfunding
      C. Crowdfunding under the JOBS Act
    3. THEORETICAL TENSIONS
      A. Paternalistic Impulses: The Rule 504 Lesson
      B. Securities Regulation: Disclosure vs. Merit Review
    4. VENTURE CAPITALIST ELITES AND THE MASSES
      A. Vertical and Horizontal Risks
      B. Downside and Upside Risks
      1. Financing Rounds, Exits, and Protecting Crowdfunders

a. Price-Based Anti-Dilution Protection
b. Shares-Based Anti-Dilution Protection
c. Tag-Along Rights
d. Preemptive Rights

5. QUALITATIVE PROTECTIONS FOR CROWDFUNDERS

A. Contractual Provisions
B. Venture Capital–Deal-Terms Disclosure Table
C. Congressional and Regulatory Action

CONCLUSION


3. Harvard Business Law Review – Equity Crowdfunding: The Real and the Illusory Exemption – This document has a good section that discusses investment syndicates and why novice investors should follow lead angel investors until they get the hang of assessing crowdfunding securities risk.

TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION

I. BACKGROUND

A. An introduction to crowdfunding
B. The rationale for a new exemption
C. The legislative history of the retail crowdfunding exemption
D. The quiet compromise

II. TWO CROWDFUNDING EXEMPTIONS COMPARED

A. Affordability in small offerings
B. Access to potential investors
C. Investor protection
D. Summary and implications

III. AN INCENTIVES-BASED THEORY OF INVESTOR PROTECTION

A. The public theory and retail crowdfunding
B. The private theory and accredited crowdfunding
C. A theory to describe the spectrum

IV. ASSESSING POTENTIAL SEC ACTION

A. Pooled investments managed by a lead investor
B. Public company regulation
C. Verification
D. Liquidity risk
E. Integration and aggregation
F. Substantial compliance
G. The accredited investor definition

V. RECOMMENDATIONS

A. Strengthen accredited investor bargaining power
B. Encourage retail investors to piggyback
C. Harmonize the resale and substantial compliance rules
D. Generate empirical data and conduct a special study

CONCLUSION


4. David M. Freedman and Matthew R. Nutting – Equity Crowdfunding for Investors: A Guide to Risks, Returns, Regulations, Funding Portals, Due Diligence, and Deal Termswhich I have not read, but the following paragraph descriptions definitely look worth reading while learning the the Title III equity crowdfunding securities investment process.

Preface: The New Angel Investors

In 1977, Mike Markkula became the first angel investor in Apple Computer. His $80,000 stake in Apple grew into about $200 million when the company went public three years later. Few opportunities can generate personal wealth as profoundly as being a founder or early investor in a startup that achieves that sort of grand success. Before 2012, however, angel investing was strictly limited to wealthy and extremely well connected people. Thanks to Title III of the JOBS Act of 2012, tens of millions of average investors will, for the first time in several decades, have an opportunity to invest in growing startups and early-stage companies via equity crowdfunding portals. This book covers not only Title III crowdfunding, but Regulation D offering platforms and intrastate securities exemptions (in at least 18 states) as well.

Chapter 1: The Foundations of Online Crowdfunding

Internet crowdfunding gained traction around 2003, starting with rewards-based platforms like ArtistShare, Kickstarter, and Indiegogo. They were followed by donation-based platforms like GoFundMe. Securities (debt- and equity-based) offering platforms launched around 2011 in the United States. Equity offering platforms were still open to accredited investors only, however. The JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act of 2012 legalized a new form of equity crowdfunding for all investors regardless of income or net worth. This chapter clarifies the differences between the various kinds of crowdfunding and provides lessons for investors about risk, reward, fraud prevention, and the wisdom of the crowd.

Chapter 2: Equity Offerings under Reg. D

Starting in 2011 in the United States, startups and early-stage companies began offering securities to accredited investors through Web-based offering platforms, under Rule 506 of Regulation D. Issuers could raise an unlimited amount of equity capital via Reg D platforms. Title II of the JOBS Act of 2012 lifted the ban on general solicitation for offerings made under new Rule 506(c). We profile two pioneers in Reg D offering platforms: MicroVentures (focusing on tech startups) and CircleUp (focusing on earlystage consumer products and retail companies).

Chapter 3: Equity Crowdfunding for All Investors

Title III of the JOBS Act of 2012 created a legal framework for equity crowdfunding, whereby all investors (not just wealthy “accredited” investors) can buy securities issued by startups and early-stage companies. The regulations limit the amount of money investors can invest in equity crowdfunding offerings each year, based on their income and/or net worth.

Chapter 4: Intrastate Crowdfunding, Non-accredited Investors

At least a dozen states got a jumpstart on equity crowdfunding, using the “intrastate exemption” to initiate regulatory frameworks for in-state equity crowdfunding. Georgia was the first U.S. state in which an equity crowdfunding portal successfully funded a startup with participation of non-accredited investors.

Chapter 5: Deal Flow

What kinds of companies will offer equity shares on Title III crowdfunding portals? Will they really have high growth potential and be worth investing in? Will there be a big enough supply of offerings to meet the demand of tens of millions of new angel investors? In this chapter we forecast what kinds of companies— in terms of industry, development stage, growth potential, and other characteristics—will represent the most attractive Title III deals for all (including non-accredited) investors.

Chapter 6: Angel Investors

In depth, we discuss the benefits, returns, costs, and risks of investing in startups and early-stage companies via equity crowdfunding. The possibility of earning spectacular return on investment (even if not very likely) is one attraction of angel investing. We discuss how the emergence of equity crowdfunding creates a new class of angel investors, with some of the same motives and benefits as traditional angels but some new ones, too—especially social benefits.

Chapter 7:  How to Navigate through Title III Offerings

This chapter offers a glimpse behind the scenes of equity crowdfunding portals—how they are regulated, the difference between “funding portals” and broker-dealer platforms, how they decide whether to approve or reject issuers’ applications, how investors communicate with each other, and using an investor dashboard.

Chapter 8: How to Invest, Part 1: Portfolio Strategy

A three- to five-year plan for building an equity crowdfunding portfolio Investing in private securities, including Title III offerings, is one way to diversify your investment portfolio. This chapter helps you decide what percentage of your portfolio assets should be devoted to “non-correlated” alternative assets like Title III offerings; identify your primary motives for investing in startups and early-stage companies so you can narrow down the kinds of offerings that you consider; create an equity crowdfunding budget, pinpointing the amount of money that you can invest each year over three to five years; and build a diversified equity crowdfunding portfolio.

Chapter 9: How to Invest, Part 2: Identify Suitable Offerings

How narrow down your choice of Title III offerings, based on your selection criteria—the first of which is identifying your social, personal, and/or financial motivation for investing in startups and early-stage companies.

Chapter 10: Equity Crowdfunding Securities

Title III equity offerings are predominantly C corporation stock, limited liability company membership units, and convertible debt. This chapter covers the fundamentals of each of those securities (including both common and preferred stock), and their advantages and drawbacks for both issuers and investors.

Chapter 11: Deal Terms

We provide concise explanations of the terms of private securities deals, in four categories: economic terms (like price per share, minimum investment, fully diluted valuation, etc.); control terms (protective provisions, veto power, etc.); terms relating to liquidity events and future financing (liquidation preferences, anti-dilution provisions); and other terms (conversion rights, dividends, redemption rights, right of first refusal, etc.).

Chapter 12: How to Invest, Part 3: Due Diligence

How to research an issuer’s management team, financial reports, revenue projections, business strategy, regulatory compliance, and other key indicators. You have the option of conducting due diligence independently, relying on a sophisticated “lead investor,” hiring a professional adviser, and/or collaborating with members of the crowd through on-platform discussions and Q&A forums.

Chapter 13: How to Invest, Part 4: Funding and Post-funding

We talk about the on-platform investment transaction, your rights and obligations as a shareholder, and how to monitor and manage your equity crowdfunding portfolio.

Chapter 14: Liquidity and Secondary Markets

Equity crowdfunding securities are relatively illiquid, especially in the first 12 months that you hold the investment. Secondary markets will probably develop over the next few years to provide liquidity to Title III securities. We look back at how secondary markets developed for accredited investors in the past 10 years, and project how they might develop for all investors in the near future.


5. Charting a New Revolution in Equity Crowdfunding: The Rise of State Crowdfunding Regimes in the Response to the Inadequacy of the Title III JOBS Act – Good analysis of intrastate crowdfunding exemptions.

6. The Next British Invasion is Securities Crowdfunding: How Issuing Non-Registered Securities through the Crowd Can Succeed in the United States – Good analysis of equity crowdfunding in the U.K.

7. Breaking New Ground: The Americas Alternative Finance Benchmarking Report – Research report on peer to peer lending, another form of alternative finance.

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Robert Hoskins, a seasoned Front Page PR veteran provides more than twenty-five years of external communications, media relations, digital social media and SEO skills to Front Page PR’s crowdfunding PR and media relations service portfolio.
(512) 627-6622
@Crowdfunding_PR


Mr. Hoskins is a seasoned marketing veteran with a proven track record of helping entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses as well as Fortune 500 corporations launch successful marketing communications campaigns to gain market traction for a wide variety of products and services.
Hoskins is one of the crowdfunding industry’s foremost crowdfunding advocates and has amassed a huge social media following that is dedicated to supporting donation-, rewards- and equity-based crowdfunding campaigns. Due to the overwhelming demand from the general public for crowdfunding information, he empowers entrepreneurs with some of the internet’s most affordable ($20) online crowdfunding training classes, which provide insight to startups around the world on a 24 x 7 basis.
Hoskins adamantly believes that the crowdfunding industry will empower everyone in the United States to rediscover the possibility of living the American dream with a little hard work, a great business idea and the dedication to researching, planning and launching a well-thought-out crowdfunding campaign. He consults on a regular basis with crowdfunding campaign managers as well as crowdfunding sites, portals and platforms to deliver successful crowdfunding marketing campaigns.

Did you eat, drink, shower and sleep in a bed last night? Millions of Syrian parents/kids did not. Will you help them?

6 Oct

Please help Kickstarter raise money to support the Syrian War Refugees who didn’t do anything to deserve to lose their beds, homes, schools or their life

By Robert Hoskins

Click here to make a tax deductible Kickstarter donation to Syrian Refugee Camps – Millions of refugees didn’t eat at all last night, don’t have any fresh water to drink, haven’t showered in weeks, and slept with their families on the hard ground or sidewalk with no covers/no pillows and are waiting for somebody, somewhere to help them escape their desperate situation.

Regardless of who they are or where they come from, no human being deserves to live like this. Are you willing to help them?

If 1 out of every 500 people in the top 20 countries worldwide donated $100, it would generate more than $1 billion dollars worth of aid to people who literally have no hope that tomorrow might have even the smallest glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

In the last 24 hours, if you have enjoyed a warm meal, drank a cup of fresh water from your kitchen sink, took a hot shower, or slept a comfortable bed last night, please take a minute to think what it would be like for someone to take all this away from you overnight and force you to flee your home and country with nothing more than you could carry on your back.

You may not want to donate any money to the UN Refugee Agency Kickstarter Crowdfunding Campaign, but there is no excuse for not doing your part to help raise the awareness for these unfortunate people with very little hope for a better tomorrow and at least try to make a difference.

What if it was was your sons, daughters or grandchildren or YOU in these pictures? Would you think it was kind if someone walked up and handed you $20 bucks and said, please enjoy a hot meal on me, its the least that I can do to make a difference.

They might not be able to pay you back, but I bet their smile would be a worth a million bucks and a gold star in heaven.

Please take 5 minutes of your time to download a free copy of Buffer.com, hook up your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts and then share at least 10 of the pictures below with your friends, family and business contacts on your social media networks.

Highlight the text and then right click on the image to share these images via Buffer:

The world must act to save a generation of traumatised, isolated and suffering Syrian children

The world must act to save a generation of traumatized, isolated and suffering Syrian children

Turkish gendarmerie stand near by the washed up body of a refugee child who drowned

Turkish gendarmerie stand near by the washed up body of a refugee child who drowned

A Syrian woman sits next to her children on a street sidewalk

A Syrian woman sits next to her children on a street sidewalk

A million children are now refugees from Syria crisis

A million children are now refugees from Syria crisis

More than 200,000 Syrian child refugees are to suffer a bitter winter of freezing temperatures

More than 200,000 Syrian child refugees are suffering in a bitter winter of freezing temperatures

Moments of resilience, courage and even joy visible on the faces of Syrian refugee children

Moments of resilience, courage and even joy visible on the faces of Syrian refugee children

A Syrian refugee boy practices taekwondo at the Zaatari refugee camp near Mafraq

A Syrian feeds his family in a refugee camp

About one million Syrians in this small Lebanon in addition to one million Palestinians.

About one million Syrians in this small Lebanon in addition to one million Palestinians.

Syrian refugee children learn to survive at a camp in north Lebanon.

Syrian refugee children learn to survive at a camp in north Lebanon.

Parents and aid workers fear that Syria's war threatens to create a lost generation of children.

Parents and aid workers fear that Syria’s war threatens to create a lost generation of children.

The world must act to save a generation of traumatised, isolated and suffering Syrian children

The world must act to save a generation of traumatized, isolated and suffering Syrian children

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Robert Hoskins, a seasoned Front Page PR veteran provides more than twenty-five years of external communications, media relations, digital social media and SEO skills to Front Page PR’s crowdfunding PR and media relations service portfolio.
(512) 627-6622
@Crowdfunding_PR


Mr. Hoskins is a seasoned marketing veteran with a proven track record of helping entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses as well as Fortune 500 corporations launch successful marketing communications campaigns to gain market traction for a wide variety of products and services.
Hoskins is one of the crowdfunding industry’s foremost crowdfunding advocates and has amassed a huge social media following that is dedicated to supporting donation-, rewards- and equity-based crowdfunding campaigns. Due to the overwhelming demand from the general public for crowdfunding information, he empowers entrepreneurs with some of the internet’s most affordable ($20) online crowdfunding training classes, which provide insight to startups around the world on a 24 x 7 basis.
Hoskins adamantly believes that the crowdfunding industry will empower everyone in the United States to rediscover the possibility of living the American dream with a little hard work, a great business idea and the dedication to researching, planning and launching a well-thought-out crowdfunding campaign. He consults on a regular basis with crowdfunding campaign managers as well as crowdfunding sites, portals and platforms to deliver successful crowdfunding marketing campaigns.

Crowdfunding PR Raising Money via Wells Fargo Project Work to Build the Very 1st Equity Crowdfunding Co-Working Space, Incubator, Accelerator and Training Facility Center in Austin, Texas

22 May

Click on this image to vote YES for our Crowdfunding Coworking Incubator Accelerator Training Facility

Click on this image to vote YES for our Crowdfunding Co-working Incubator, Accelerator and Crowdfunding Training Facility on Wells Fargo’s Work Project Contest for Small Businesses

Show our crowdfunding campaign some love by clicking here and simply voting “Yes,” and then share this story with your friends on social media. Your one vote will help us WIN!

  By Robert Hoskins

Austin, Texas – Front Page PR’s 2015 Mission is to teach local communities how to buy distressed properties such as vacant warehouses and strip malls and invest a little bit of money to turn these properties into crowdfunding co-working spaces where entrepreneurs and startups can congregate and dream up new product/service ideas.

The Wells Fargo Works Project for Small Business

The Wells Fargo Works Project for Small Business. Please Click to Vote YES!

Utilizing co-working spaces, Front Page PR can teach startups via crowdfunding training classes how to use a new finance tool called “Equity Crowdfunding” to raise the sufficient seed capital needed to setup a business, transform their creative ideas into prototypes, pay for the very first manufacturing production run, and then convert these companies from fledgling startups into successful revenue generating machines.

Equity Crowdfunding was legalized in 2012 by the JOBS Act. By October 2015, the SEC should release the final Title III equity crowdfunding rules. Startups will then be able to use General Solicitation market their investment opportunities to over 180 million non-accredited investors throughout the United States. The result? Leading finance experts and venture capitalists agree that the crowdfunding industry will grow quickly into a $300 billion per year industry.

The biggest marketplace challenge is that 99% of the population is unaware of crowdfunding and will need to be trained on how to invest in new startups and how to raise money using equity crowdfunding campaigns. Our crowdfunding classes are complete, but the biggest problem we face is how to pay for an actual crowdfunding training facility, converting it into a co-working space, staffing it with experts, and then marketing the facility to the general public.

We would like to spend the $25,000 Wells Fargo prize to start the process of setting up a Crowdfunding Incubator/Accelerator facility for small businesses and utilizing it over the next two to five years to teach people how to use crowdfunding sites to raise seed investment capital. The business model should fund itself in less than 12 months based on monthly co-working memberships alone, but we need enough money to get things started.

Our Incubator will provide a directory of crowdfunding experts that mentor entrepreneurs/startups on how to use donation-based or rewards-based crowdfunding to raise enough money on sites like GoFundMe.com, Kickstarter.com, or IndieGoGo.com to get a business up and running. Our crowdfunding training classes will show startups the step-by-step process of how to conduct successful crowdfunding campaigns.

Our Accelerator will provide a directory of legal, finance and securities experts that will help businesses take their companies to next level by selling equity shares or debt in their company to investors to raise even more money. The investor training classes will show new, non-accredited investors how to vet deals and ride the coattails of super angels by utilizing investment syndicates.

Once the Incubator/Accelerator is established and producing successful startups, we plan to license the business model so that others can replicate this crowdfunding training business template anywhere in the United States, providing a tremendous boost to the US economy.

Why launch a Crowdfunding Training Center? After serving as the Director of Corporate Communications for several Fortune 50 companies, I was bitten by the entrepreneurship bug and jumped off the corporate ship in 2001.

Since then I have thrived on the joy of building industries one small company at a time and the love for sharing my accrued knowledge gained from a vast array of B2B industries, international sales & distribution channels and working with media organizations to maximize publicity.

My track record includes building a broadband wireless industry in 2001 with the Broadband Wireless Exchange Magazine, an Arizona solar industry in 2009 with the Arizona Solar Power Society and I have been working for the past three years on building a crowdfunding industry with Crowdfunding PR to score a hat trick in 2015 when the SEC approves the title III equity crowdfunding rules.

Please support our fundraising campaign to build the 1st Crowdfunding Co-Working Space, Incubator, Accelerator and Training Center in Austin, Texas. Click here and vote yes!

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Want to help us build a Crowdfunding Training Center?

Wells Fargo Announces Four-Point Plan to Expand Credit Coaching Programs and Offer $75 Million in Investments, Grants and Micro-Lending for Small Businesses in the U.S.

21 May

To help business owners learn how to obtain credit, as well as better understand the reasons for a decline and learn how to prepare to reapply, Wells Fargo has launched a new Credit Coaching program

  By Robert Hoskins

San Francisco, California – To gain more insight into the experiences of diverse business owners in the areas of lending and operating their businesses, Wells Fargo commissioned Gallup to conduct a national study of small business owners. Today, as Gallup releases the findings (on Gallup.com), Wells Fargo is announcing a four-point plan to address needs identified in the study. The plan will help more diverse small businesses become credit-ready and gain access to credit. The Gallup survey included findings of business owners in six segments – African American, Asian American, Hispanic, LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender), military veteran, and women.

Please click on this banner to vote yes for Crowdfunding PR's business plan to open up Crowdfunding Training Facilities Nationwide

Please click on this banner to vote yes for Crowdfunding PR’s business plan to open up Crowdfunding Training Facilities nationwide in tandem with co-working spaces, incubators and accelerators

“Serving diverse communities has long been a focus area and priority for Wells Fargo, yet we know there’s more work to be done, and it starts with gaining a deeper understanding of the experiences of diverse small business owners working with financial institutions,” said Lisa Stevens, head of Small Business for Wells Fargo. “For this reason, we commissioned the Gallup study, which gave us new insight into the perceptions and experiences of diverse business owners working with banks, and how we can improve as a company and as an industry.”

Overall, the national study revealed there are more similarities than differences between small business owners in all diverse segments and those in the general population. It also shows specific areas in which the financial services industry can provide more support for diverse business owners.

Credit Coaching Program

In the Gallup survey, diverse-owned small businesses were more likely to respond that they have been declined for business credit – about one in five African American, Asian and Hispanic business owners said they faced a credit decline in the past (14 percent of general market respondents said they faced a decline). After being declined, a higher percentage of African American business owners (64 percent) said they did not apply for credit again than their peers in the general small business population (47 percent). African American (14 percent) and LGBT (15 percent) business owners also reported greater personal credit challenges than the general market (5 percent).

To help business owners learn how to obtain credit, as well as better understand the reasons for a decline and learn how to prepare to reapply, Wells Fargo has launched an enhanced Credit Coaching program. It offers expanded support to business owners who have been declined business credit. The phone-based program has been rolled out to small business owners who apply for Wells Fargo Business Direct credit products (primarily credit products under $100,000 sold through its retail banking stores). Business owners who use the program will be connected with a credit specialist who will review the business’ credit profile, explain why the business was declined credit, and share resources that can help the business strengthen its credit profile and improve the likelihood of being approved for business credit in the future.

In addition, while the majority of business owners surveyed across all segments said they did not feel a perception of discrimination from a financial institution impacted their chances of obtaining business credit, 22 percent of African American and 11 percent of LGBT business owners reported that perceived discrimination impacted their chances of obtaining credit for their business, compared to 5 percent of the general small business owner population. The Credit Coaching initiative will be one way Wells Fargo will further increase transparency of credit decisions and facilitate conversations that build trust with all customers.

“We take pride in the fact that diversity and inclusion has long been one of our core values in every aspect of our business, and at every level of our organization,” said Stevens. “We want to make sure all customers feel welcome, respected, understood, valued and appreciated. The actions we’re introducing today are the next steps for Wells Fargo to better serve and connect with diverse-segment business owners.”

Community Development Financial Institutions Investments, Grants

Another key finding in the Gallup study is that African American, Asian and Hispanic small business owners are more likely to be in the start-up and growing stages of their business, compared to the small business population in general, and as a result may not qualify for many conventional bank loan products. In addition, 49 percent of African American-, 47 percent of women- and 45 percent of LGBT-owned businesses in the survey reported annual business revenue of less than $50,000, compared to 36 percent of small business owners in general.

To help newer, smaller and start-up businesses access the appropriate business financing and support they need, Wells Fargo will extend $50 million in investments and $25 million in grants to organizations called Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) that serve small businesses and entrepreneurs. The investments and grants will be directed to CDFIs that help small businesses get started and established by providing flexible capital and technical assistance. Wells Fargo will work with existing and new CDFI customers in diverse communities across the country to deploy this capital and measure its impact.

“We know that in order to address the range of financial needs within all of our communities, we need to support and work with the ecosystem of organizations that serve small businesses,” said Jon Campbell, executive vice president, government and community relations for Wells Fargo. “Through this increased investment and connections with community lending organizations, we are making meaningful strides toward increasing access to capital for small businesses, as well as helping more business owners get the coaching and educational resources they need to succeed financially long-term.”

Nationwide Referral Network

In the Gallup study, more African American, Asian and Hispanic business owners reported they were unable to obtain all the credit they needed in the past year than the general business owner population, yet the majority of small business owners in all diverse segments said they did not need credit in the last year. At the same time, nearly one in four African American, Hispanic and Asian business owners plans to apply for credit in the next 12 months, higher than the general small business owner population planning to pursue credit (15 percent). Businesses in the startup and growing phases in general expressed more intentions to apply for new credit.

To ensure business owners are aware of and accessing the full range of financing options available to them, Wells Fargo recently established referral relationships with more than 20 nonprofits and other lenders in cities across the country that are participating in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Community Advantage program. Participants in the SBA’s program specialize in providing hands-on guidance to small businesses and offering credit to qualifying businesses in underserved markets. Wells Fargo, the nation’s No. 1 SBA lender 7(a) in dollar volume for six consecutive years (U.S. SBA data, federal fiscal years 2009-2014), established these relationships with the intent of providing small business owners with an additional financing solution that may better meet their lending needs.

Chamber Training Institute

On the topic of business education, the Gallup study showed that African American, Asian and Hispanic business owners were more likely than business owners in the general population to be extremely or very interested in learning how to build a strong business credit application, choose a credit product, and develop a business plan. To meet this demand, Wells Fargo is supporting a Chamber Training Institute that trains leaders of diverse-segment chambers of commerce on key business and leadership topics for their members, such as how to access business credit and craft strong business plans. This cross-chamber initiative builds on Wells Fargo’s strong working relationships with chambers nationwide that specifically serve and represent African American, Hispanic, Asian American and LGBT business owner interests.

“There’s no single answer to the challenges reflected in the study, just as the challenges facing all diverse-owned businesses are broader than any one financial institution can address,” Stevens said. “As America’s leading small business lender, we have a responsibility to do more. We believe the steps we’re taking will make a difference, help us foster more lifelong relationships, and move us closer to our goal of helping every business we serve succeed financially. We want to contribute to a national conversation, involving the public and private sector, industry stakeholders and small business owners, about how to better support small businesses in every community.”

Additional Gallup study findings

Other key findings in Gallup’s industry study included:

  • Only about half of small business owners say they have ever borrowed money for their business, including the general population of small business owners (50 percent), Asian (53 percent) and Hispanic (51 percent) segments, while the percentage of African American business owners who have used credit (42 percent) is somewhat lower.
  • African American (21 percent) and Hispanic (18 percent) business owners were more likely than their counterparts in the general population (10 percent) to be in the startup phase.
  • Nearly half of Asian-owned business owners (49 percent) said they were in the growing phase of their business, a higher percentage than the general population of small business owners (37 percent). Also, 38 percent of Asian-owned businesses reported annual revenue of $250,000 or more, compared to 22 percent of businesses overall.
  • A higher proportion of veteran-owned businesses (24 percent) reported being in the winding down phase – preparing to retire, sell or transition their businesses – than small business owners in general (15 percent).
  • Just 9 percent of women business owners reported plans to apply for new credit in the next 12 months, compared with 20 percent of men surveyed.

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Paid Mentorship Management Consulting Fees Can Help Fund College University Incubator and Accelerator Programs

14 Mar

Allowing Mentors to Earn Revenue while Colleges/Universities Collect a Commission for Facilitating the Knowledge Transfer is Great Way to Bring Leading Expertise to Remote Areas

By Robert Hoskins

Paid Mentor Management Consulting Fees

Another option for schools to generate funding is to create a management consulting practice in tandem with college and university incubators and accelerators. Many sources of mentorship can be attracted by allowing the subject matter experts to generate revenue by providing mentoring services for a consulting fee. 

Incubators/accelerators could take a 15% commission out of the consulting fee to add monthly recurring revenue to their incubator and accelerator programs. Payments for services can be paid in cash and/or might include an option to purchase equity shares in the first class of equity shares being offered during the seed fundraising round.

Using this strategy, schools with video conferencing capabilities can tap into talent on a worldwide basis. Using teleconferencing and distance learning applications schools can access the world’s leading entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and private equity investors, even in remote locations.

A single community college might not able to afford a speaking engagement with Guy Kawasaki, Elon Musk or Richard Branson, but working with numerous community colleges in any given state they could launch a rewards-based crowdfunding campaign to solicit enough cash to pay for an event that could be broadcast to a network of participating schools.  These single session tutorials, mentoring sessions or consulting engagements could be setup in a very similar manner to the very popular TedX talks.

Other sources of revenue can be earned by hosting conferences, trade shows, pitching competitions and/or training classes.

Learn more about crowdfunding:

 

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Want to learn more about setting up a college/university crowdfunding ecosystem?

Please fill out this form to get started:

 

Utilizing Equity Crowdfunding Campaigns to Cross Pollinate College Education with the Opportunity to Launch Real World Startups and Conduct Equity Fundraising Campaigns

13 Mar

Providing students with a way to contribute their skills to a steady stream of equity crowdfunding campaigns is a great way to gain valuable industry experience and make money

By Robert Hoskins

Real World Benefits of Equity Crowdfunding Campaigns

Depending on the strength of their various colleges, equity crowdfunding programs can help universities begin to leverage the resources from each college and begin to cross pollinate equity crowdfunding campaigns by harnessing the strength of the entire student body.  

Providing students with a way to contribute their skills to a steady stream of equity crowdfunding campaigns would be a great way for them to gain valuable industry experience while earning a college degree.

Instead of working in non-paid internships performing menial tasks, students can invest their time and sweat equity in real world startups by helping startups work their way through the seed investment raising process.  Getting paid with equity shares versus the opportunity to add one line-item bullet point to their resume is a much more attractive option for students worried about paying off their college tuition.

By providing any of the following services below to crowdfunding campaigns, students would benefit from the opportunity to practice their intended field of study as well as enjoy the potential payoff by aggressively seeking risk, innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities.  As a part of the mentoring process students and faculty could setup a management consulting firm that specializes in equity crowdfunding campaigns. 

  • Research & Development
    • Recognition for discoveries made at the institution
    • Compliance with federal regulations
    • Attraction and retention of talented faculty
    • Attraction of corporate research sponsors
  • Business Administration
    • Accounting/Audits
    • Finance
    • Business Planning
    • Investor Relations
  • Computer Science
    • Ecommerce
    • Social Media
    • Programmers/Coders
  • Law School
    • Private Placement Memorandums
    • Intellectual Property Protection
    • Copyrights/Patents
    • Legal Contracts
    • Corporate Structures
    • Licensing revenue to support further research and education
    • Technology Transfer Offices
  • Mass Communications
    • Advertising
    • Film/Broadcast
    • Journalism
    • Marketing
    • Mass Communications
    • PR
    • Social Media

Learn more about crowdfunding:

 

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Think about launching an Equity Crowdfunding Site?

Please fill out this form to get started:

Starting a University Equity Crowdfunding Ecosystem to Build Better Alumni and Local Community Relationships

12 Mar

Crowdfunding Sites Provide Alumni with a Personal Way to Begin Investing in their Alma Maters’ Promising Startups and Reap the Benefit of Making a Lot of Money if They Invest in the Right Projects

By Robert Hoskins

Stimulating Alumni and Local Community Engagement

Establishing an Equity Crowdfunding Ecosystem is a great way for colleges and universities to reconnect alumni with their alma maters and engage them to begin investing in the school’s future.  

Unlike giving donations to a school with no idea of how the money is going to be spent, investing directly in equity crowdfunding campaigns not only gives alumni a way to give back to the university that that helped launch their careers, but also provides them with a personal way to begin investing in creative projects that are near and dear to their hearts as well as reap the benefit of making a lot of money if they invest in the right projects.

Building an Equity Crowdfunding site to market college and university projects to alumni and the rest of the world can help:

  • Build Better Relationships with Alumni;
  • Migrate Alumni from Blind Donations to Targeted Equity Investments;
  • Generate Substantially More Revenue to Finance School Programs;
  • Increase Long-Term Return on Investment; and
  • Produce Much Better  Global University Marketing Opportunities.

Equity Crowdfunding Sites are Great Marketing Tools

Not only do crowdfunding campaigns provide a great opportunity for students to raise money for their startup companies, but the marketing that is done to drive investors to their crowdfunding profiles is a great way for colleges and universities to market their school’s brand name and recruit new students in a similar manner to running TV advertisements during college football and basketball games.

The difference, however, is that instead of producing a bland 10,000 ft. overview of a college’s academics, research and development facilities and a fly over of the university campus, each equity crowdfunding campaign has the opportunity of demonstrate exactly what is actually going on inside their R&D departments, computer science data centers and bio-tech wet labs. It is a new way to streamline the Technology Transfer process.  

Equity Crowdfunding is a much more cost-effective way to bring new technology and businesses to market and can earn schools substantially more money via equity investments than licensing agreements or royalty deals. 

Entrepreneurship Centers, Incubators and Accelerators

In addition, crowdfunding sites allow schools to promote the fact that they are now offering entrepreneurship centers, co-working spaces, incubators with mentorship programs and accelerators that can help raise money to fund new startups.  Equity crowdfunding ecosystems and alumni angel networks will make is possible to attract more millennials, smarter entrepreneurs and aggressive startup high-tech and bio-tech companies seeking a fertile environment in which to launch their business ideas.

For example, look at the successful marketing campaigns that the Coolest Cooler or the Pebble Time SmartWatch crowdfunding campaigns are generating for Kickstarter.  Not only are they transforming Kickstarter into a global brand, but with 18 days left to go the Pebble Time SmartWatch has raised over $17 million. These marketing, PR and social media campaigns have generated massive amounts of free, positive and credible publicity. The same type of exposure can be generated for any college that has startups marketing their university’s equity crowdfunding campaigns via the internet and social media networks.  

Equity Crowdfunding Generates Nice Revenue Streams

Not only is the free, positive publicity great for promoting a school’s brand name, but collecting a fee similar to Kickstarter’s five-percent crowdfunding site commission fee is also a great way to make money to fund the school’s incubator and accelerator programs.

For example, the Pebble Time SmartWatch crowdfunding campaign’s site commission fee will deposit more than $1,000,000 into Kickstarter’s bank account for doing little more than setting up an e-commerce site. A simple task for any computer science college. 

College and university crowdfunding sites will start slow at first like Kickstarter did but given the strength of the university’s mass communication department, it could be much quicker.  Regardless, over a five-year period, a school’s crowdfunding site has the same opportunity to create a massive crowdfunding ecosystem like Kickstarter’s which to date has collected almost ~$2 billion in investment seed capital over the past 5 years.  

It you are a school administrator, what would injecting $2 billion into your Technology Transfer Office do for your college or university?  And that is straight rewards-based crowdfunding.  What would the same $2 billion return if just 10% percent of your startup companies went public and raised $100 million each? Once the first several dominos fall the financial returns would sufficient enough to continue growing a stronger pool of wealth with each generation of graduates. This method is precisely how Palo Alto, San Jose and San Francisco built the Silicon Valley in California into a global angel investor and venture capital powerhouse.

Alumni, Mentors and Future Students

Future students, leading mentors and disconnected alumni will suddenly have a purview into exciting projects and developments that are percolating behind the scenes in a very similar manner to Kickstarter. Crowdfunding will make it possible for the local community and general public to see the huge innovations that are going on behind the scenes, which will create the desire to get involved in the process so they too can strike it rich. Suddenly, alumni will be very motivated to keep in touch and invest often. 

Conclusion:

The crowdfunding industry is clearly fueling a new generation of makers that realize that it is more possible now than ever to bring their creative ideas to life with other people’s money, not just on the east and west coasts, but anywhere in America.

Learn more about crowdfunding:

 

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Want to setup an Equity Crowdfunding Ecosystem for your college?

Please fill out this form to get started:

Crowdlending Site, Kiva, Launches “Dreams” to Support Equality for All Women

6 Mar

On March 8th, Help Kiva Make a Difference by Backing the Dreams of Women around the World to Honor and Support International Women’s Day

 By Robert Hoskins

San Francisco, CAKiva.org wants millions of people worldwide to celebrate the 104th International Women’s Day on March 8, 2015. While many gains have been made, the dream of women’s equality is still far from reality. The truth. In the year 2015 inequality is still all around us. Opportunity is not equal. Education is not equal. Wealth is not equal.

But dreams… the dreams of all women are created equal. And that’s where you can start.  In honor of International Women’s Day – and the days that follow – Kiva has launched Kiva.org/Dreams to spotlight the power of women to create sustainable change when everyday people lend their support.

Please visit Kiva.org/Dreams to vote on which woman Kiva’s team should pick to lend $25 to enable her dream to come true. There is no cost to you. By choosing her, you help her to follow her dream of starting or growing her business, sending her children to school, and gaining financial independence.

 

Or search through Kiva’s portfolio of women entrepreneurs and select a woman and donate $25 in countries where any amount of money will make a huge difference in her daily life. Supporters will receive great satisfaction in knowing that they made a difference in someone’s life that really needed the money.

Without access to resources to attend school or grow a business, their dreams are far too often out of reach. This affects us all.  Women’s empowerment means economic growth for their families, communities and the world. A case in point: if women farmers had equal access to farming assets and finance, they could increase their crop yields up to 30% and 150 million people who go hungry every day would be able to eat.

By contributing to the success of an entrepreneurial woman who has overcome obstacles most of us cannot even truly imagine, we discover so much more about our own resiliency, possibility, and potential. Each of us has a part to play and together we can make dreams a reality for thousands of women around the world.

So, in honor of International Women’s Day and the power of women to create lasting change, please back a dream at Kiva.org/Dreams.

Kiva.org is the world’s first and largest crowdfunding platform for social good with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Since 2005, more than 1.6 million people turned their dreams into reality because 1.3 million people backed their dream on Kiva. Together, more than $675 million in loans have been crowdfunded, with a 98% repayment rate.

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